Saturday , Oct , 04 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

NBA to Expand Instant Replay?


NBA to Expand Instant Replay?
Teams in the league were asked to vote on the expanding of instant replay on Friday, according to ESPN.com. Basically, the idea is that officials will be able to use replay in regards mostly to the three-point line. They would be able to consult replay to check whether or not a shot was a three-pointer, when it was made and when a player was fouled near the line.

This news disturbed me, to say that least. I understand that people want to get things right and I understand other leagues are adopting all sorts of different replay ideas. I also understand that one or two points in a game can make a huge difference, but let’s be honest, replay is fine with buzzer-beaters and last-second fouls. What is the NBA headed for? Challenge flags or challenge 30-second timeouts? Let’s be serious here. There needs to be a human element left in the game. Humans play the game and humans should enforce the rules of the game.

There is always going to be some sort of mistake made, whether it be an electrical problem or a missed call, but that is part of the beauty of the game. What will we have to talk about if we can’t talk about blown calls and mistakes? That takes away 75% of our topics of conversation. I mean, isn’t it the same idea as a player? We pay Kobe millions of dollars to make shots, and sometimes he misses. We pay officials money to make calls, and sometimes they miss them.

I know that seems like a soft analogy because we expect officials to be perfect all the time because that’s what we pay them for, but isn’t that the same reason we pay the players? We expect Kobe to make the shots every time; that’s why they pay him. We may as well just put a robot out there on floor that can make it every time, or if Kobe misses it we may as well just let Kobe try and shoot it again when he misses because he was supposed to make it. Mistakes will be made; it’s all just part of the game. I know that seems like a ridiculous analogy, but I think you see my point.

The other obvious problem is this: When will it stop? Every time a foul is called will a coach be asking for a replay or throwing a challenge flag? There has to be a limit. Replay is a good idea for certain situations in certain sports, but it has already reached its maximum effectiveness in the NBA. I really hope the teams vote this down because it is going to become ridiculous and pointless. Please get rid of this idea, NBA, it is not going to help the league in any way. Keep the games the same length and keep the human element in it. We can simulate games any time we want to. Leave it up to the people.